Homemade stove

Recently we posted a helpful “how-to” on making fire starters and our fellow prepper/ survivalist, Watchful, suggested making a little “stove” from an old tuna can and some cardboard. So…that’s just what I did, and thenwe tested it out. Here are the results…

I started off by cutting some strips of cardboard that I rescued from the recycling bin. I wound them up and squeezed the bundle into a large sized (cleaned) tuna can. (I suspect the Denti Moore style soup cans would work well also)

Then, I collected all of our old, otherwise useless candles, and began to break and shave them into pieces.

And I continued to shave….that step took a while!

Then I used a double-boiler set-up to melt the wax. Once it was liquid, I poured it into the tuna can.

Be sure to be very careful, it’s very hot. I actually had to do this step twice to fill the container as well as making a set of fire starters.

The next obvious question is “How’d it work?” Well, I’m just about to get to that part! At our ZAS meeting we tried ’em out and they were a great success. I used my Sterno stove as a way to cook over our little wax stove and, well see for yourself…

The egg carton fire starter burned uninterrupted for 13 minutes!

 As for the “stove” it fit in the box perfectly.  It took a little bit to get it to light, perhaps next time, I will make the cardboard stick out a little so it is above the wax level. But once it got going, it provided a nice hot flame.

After about 22 minutes, our 2 quart pot of water began to boil. We cooked our meal, and then allowed the “stove” to continue to boil to test how long it would last. It lasted about 2.5 hours. There was however still about half as much cardboard left in the tuna can. It seemed to smother itself out. My hypothesis is that if I use a bit less cardboard or cardboard that is better corrugated, it would allow more space to fill with wax, and then hopefully making the “stove” burn longer. We will try that out next time, so keep a look out for an update to this post in the near future. All-in-all, I think these are a great, frugal prep. Take some items that would otherwise end up in the trash and make something useful. A definite two thumbs up!

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